1. Opinion

On coronavirus, prayer can provide solace

Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
A Pakistani boy wearing face mask as a precaution against COVID-19 offers Friday prayers with others at a local mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Pakistan, March 20, 2020. [B.K. BANGASH  |  AP]
A Pakistani boy wearing face mask as a precaution against COVID-19 offers Friday prayers with others at a local mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Pakistan, March 20, 2020. [B.K. BANGASH | AP]

Believing in the power of prayer


Until now, I thought I was dealing with life’s new realities fairly well. When there is nothing you can really do about it, I guess it makes it a bit easier to accept.

But I went to my church to pray and was hoping the doors were open. No, of course they weren’t. It was so sad and really hit me. Yes, I can pray anywhere, but I wanted to feel the comfort and be soothed by my spiritual home.

My family has been trying to follow all the guidelines so far, and realize it is a life-or-death situation. I suggest we all add the power of prayer to our daily routine for our world.

We really are all in this together.

Margaret Lowe, Riverview

Trump should calm us

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) [EVAN VUCCI | AP]

I’m a retired physician and fall into what the CDC has classified as elderly. I have hypertension and had to discontinue a medication that would actually make me more vulnerable to the virus, and I’m extremely worried. I’m worried about the spread of the virus, the lack of adequate testing, the lack of ventilators and hospital beds to treat critically ill patients and, even more, the lack of protective medical gear for first-line medical providers treating this pandemic. But the president scares me even more with his responses at his daily press conferences. He should comfort us, not vent his anger and disdain at members of the press, and brag about how “smart” he is. While I don’t believe Vice President Mike Pence, at least I find his demeanor a bit more calming.

Dr. David Lubin, Tampa

All hands on deck

Patricio Francisco, a construction worker, wears protective gear and a face mask as he takes a break from work in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, March 20, 2020. [WONG MAYE-E | AP]

The governor of New York put out an urgent plea for all able retired nurses to come back during this crisis.

I thought, what a terrific idea. I would be one of the first to offer my help. I know that there are many of my former colleagues, retired now, who would also answer the call. But why stop there? There is also a shortage of respiratory therapists. Why not try to recruit them as well?

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sandy Lazar-Bergstrom, Seminole

Not much in store

I just went grocery shopping. I now know what it must be like to go shopping in Russia. Thank God, I live in the greatest country in the world.

Ron Ovarlet, Tampa

The cure vs. the disease

At what point are the precautionary steps more painful or damaging than the virus?

Rod Hatch, Tampa

The name doesn’t matter

President Donald Trump keeps calling the novel coronavirus the “Chinese” virus. But people are fixating on that too much.

I say give him a gold star for finally getting something right. It did come from Wuhan, China. From China, just like many of his Trump-branded items. So he ought to know what comes from China, right? He’s right this time, unlike his former gaffes — claiming Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Or that Kansas City was in Kansas. Give him credit where credit is due. It’s a rarity. Let’s focus on what he’s doing about the coronavirus. And that’s not enough.

Kimberly Diaz, St. Petersburg

To our Readers,
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